- Q and A: Armadillos are tearing up our yard. What can we do to alleviate this problem?
- How To Get Rid Of Armadillos
- Armadillo Information & Facts
- What Are Armadillos?
- How to Prevent Armadillos from Settling on Your Property
- How to Get Rid of Armadillos Yourself
- What About Professional Armadillo Trappers?
- Make an Armadillo Removal Plan, and Work It
- What You Should Know About Armadillos
- Why You Should Keep Them Away
- 10 Best Repellents to Keep Armadillos Away
- 1. Liquid Fence Ready-to-Use Armadillo Repellent
- 2. Yard Guard Organic Armadillo Repellent
- 3. Hoont Powerful Solar Battery Powered Ultrasonic Repellent
- 4. Armadillo Scram Granular Repellent
- 5. Castor Oil Repellent
- 6. Solar Ultrasonic Animal Repeller with LED Flashing Light
- 7. Enviro Protection Armadillo Repellent
- 8. Natural Armor Repellent Spray
- 9. Bonide Animal Repellent
- 10. Rapid Repel Natural Nuisance Animal Repellent
- Other Different Methods of Repelling Armadillos
- How To Stop Armadillo Digging
- HOW TO KEEP ARMADILLOS OUT OF YOUR YARD
- How to Get Rid Of Armadillos
- How do you know if you have an Armadillo under your shed?
- Stop Armadillos In The Garden – Getting Rid Of Armadillos
- How to Stop Armadillos in the Garden
- Trapping and Killing Armadillos
- Armadillo Holes: Inside the Burrow
- Burrow Significance
- Burrow Building
- Burrow Appearance
- Removing Burrows
Q and A: Armadillos are tearing up our yard. What can we do to alleviate this problem?
from K., in Cape Coral
It seems that many people have been having this same problem. I have received at least twenty calls in the past two weeks asking about armadillos and how to catch them or prevent the destruction of lawns. Our present day nine-banded armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus, is an unusual looking mammal that is slate gray or brownish black with its body covered with a shell made of horny plates joined by leathery skin. These creatures have a long pointed nose, large ears, small eyes, and usually are twelve to eighteen inches long, weighing five to fifteen pounds. Armadillos have poor eyesight and hearing, but have a keen sense of smell. They are agile runners, good swimmers and can walk underwater across small canals. The armadillo is found in uplands throughout Florida, with the exception of the Keys, and is very adaptable to urban landscapes.
Armadillos breed late in July, and give birth in February or March. This may help explain the recent increase in armadillo activity. The armadillo always has four young of the same sex in its litter. Most armadillos are inactive during the day. During these hours, they inhabit dense shady cover or rest in deep burrows. These burrows are usually located under brush piles, stumps, rock piles, dense brush, or concrete patios. A burrow is about seven to eight inches in diameter and up to fifteen feet long. Armadillos become more active during the late evening, night or early morning. During this time they feed on ants, grubs, and earthworms. Armadillos usually root or dig in ground litter in search of food, but will occasionally eat berries and mushrooms. Since armadillos eat insects, they are somewhat beneficial, but they can be a problem for landowners and property managers. They dig up lawns, plant beds and excavate several burrows throughout their habitat. Burrows in pastures can be dangerous for humans and livestock.
Control methods include insecticide treatments of the soil, creating barriers, trapping, or shooting. Insecticides may restrict food sources, but will not always keep the armadillos from digging. In some cases, activity has increased as the creatures continue to search for food. Where highly valued plantings exist, small fences may be used to keep the animals out. These fences should be about twenty-four inches high with half of the fence buried below the surface. Trapping in raccoon sized cages is the most effective, humane way to eliminate armadillo problems. Keep in mind that you may move the animal and create a problem for someone else or upset the natural balance of the receiving area. Traps should be located close to the burrow and baited with earthworms and surrounding soil. Placing bait and soil in nylon stockings or plastic containers with holes poked through will allow the armadillo to smell the bait. Contact me for other live trapping techniques. Some armadillos can be discouraged from returning by filling in burrows with dirt and mothballs after you are sure they have left for the night. Finally, shooting is another method, but only in locations where it is legal to discharge a firearm. Armadillo meat is edible and there is no bag limit or season on them. It is illegal, however, to use artificial lights to aid in the shooting of armadillos at night. Finally, poison baits are illegal and ineffective.
by Dr Roy Beckford
Posted: May 13, 2017
Category: Conservation, Home Landscapes, Lawn, Natural Resources, Wildlife
Tags: armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus, Lee County, Roy Beckford, Southwest
How To Get Rid Of Armadillos
It is my goal to educate the public about armadillos and other wildlife, and provide tips for safe, effective, and responsible wildlife removal.
HUMANE HINTS: In some cases you can resolve a armadillo problem without trapping the animal – for example, you can install fencing around a property you don’t want dug up. If you use a cage trap, be sure to set it in the shade and relocate the armadillo as soon as possible. Never attempt to poison armadillos. Unfortunately, there are no effective or registered armadillo repellents. Read below for how-to hints.
Summary of Step-By-Step Instructions for Armadillo removal:
1) Purchase large cage traps – rated raccoon size, usually about 10″ x 12″ x 30″ or so.
2) No bait is effective – set traps in areas of high armadillo activity, on trails or even on top of escape burrows. Make sure traps are scent-free and flush to the ground, line the bottom of the trap with dirt and debris, and set in the shade.
3) Relocate any trapped armadillo at least 5 miles from capture site.
4) If you have armadillo living under a deck, shed, or other structure, install an exclusion barrier – steel mesh around the perimeter, and down at least 12 into the ground, with bottom of mesh sloping outward.
If you need help, click my Nationwide List of Armadillo Removal Experts for a pro near you.
Armadillos are certainly one of the most resilient and well protected creatures in the animal world, and this natural amour has made them one of the most successful animals in North America. They will not normally make their burrows in gardens unless they are quite near to some trees, but they will often cover a lot of distance during their nocturnal wanderings, which can take them to gardens near their burrow. Because of this there are a number of problems with catching and removing the animals.
Catching An Armadillo
The best way to get rid of an armadillo is to trap it and remove it away from your area. There are a number of live traps on the market, and those that are designed for raccoons or skunks will be about the right size, approximately 10″ x 12″ x 30″ or so. Some people will bait their traps with fruit, while others who are particularly aiming for armadillos will use earthworms in an old stocking as bait. However, no bait is necessary or even helpful! The most important thing to do though is to ensure that the trap is in the right place, as armadillos will often walk around the edges of a garden, and will stay closer to areas with cover. Set the trap at edges, on armadillo paths, or better yet, right on top of an armadillo burrow! Read more detailed info about armadillo trapping – analysis and methods for how to trap, bait, laws, and more.
Once this has been done and the armadillo has been caught, it is best to take it away at least a few miles before releasing it back into the wild. There are a number of other issues to consider with armadillos, because many states will only allow licensed individuals to catch and release them. Because the armadillo is not a native species to the majority of areas, it is best to check state laws before catching them, or to hire a professional to deal with the animal for you.
Steps To Take After Armadillo Problems
The problems that armadillos cause can be quite significant, so if you are having regular problems with the animals then there can be a number of steps you can take. One of the most important things you can do is to ensure that your fences are planted under the ground, and using a foot or two of steel wire fence will prevent the armadillos from digging under your existing fence. There are also a number of landscaping methods you can use to reduce the attractiveness of your garden to armadillos.
If you know where the armadillo has been burrowing, then filling in that burrow will be wise to prevent other armadillos from moving into that hole. Armadillos are good scavengers, so keeping any pet food indoors and trying to keep garbage sealed if possible to prevent the odors from attracting them. Making sure the lids on garbage cans cannot be easily removed will also help. Read more information about how to keep armadillos away – prevention techniques.
Armadillos are very tough and resilient animals, and being an invasive species in North America they have been very successful. Having a well armored hide they are very good at being bad prey for predators, and this lack of predators also has another effect. Because the majority of repellents are based on predator urine, this means that there really isn’t any effective repellent that will keep armadillos from your garden and property.
Some people will actually like having armadillos in the area as they do eat insects and other pests, but can quickly become a pest themselves. Removing them is really the only option, and for those who aren’t confident to do it themselves most areas will have a wildlife removal expert who can take of the problem for you and get rid of the armadillo.
More in-detail how-to armadillo removal articles:
Information about how to kill an armadillo – with poison or other methods.
Information about how to catch an armadillo – by hand or with special snares.
Information about armadillo repellent – analysis of types and effectiveness.
Armadillo Information & Facts
Nine Banded Armadillo Appearance: Living up to twenty years, the nine banded armadillo is the most widespread of its species, inhabiting much of North and South America. This small mammal weighs about thirteen pounds and is covered in a hard armor. The name ‘nine banded armadillo’ derives from the fact that the bony plate covering the animal is comprised of nine different sections. Other species of armadillos are also named based on the number of interlocking plates on their bodies. These plates are known as scutes. The armadillo is oblong with a triangular head and close-set ears. It is usually a light tan in color, though a variety of browns and grays within the scutes contribute to the overall hue.
Nine Banded Armadillo Habitat and Behavior: Preferring loose soil, which is conducive to digging, the nine banded armadillo lives in areas of grasslands and prairies, as well as mature forests. It is not an animal that tolerates extreme temperature variances, so it is not found in areas with long, cold winters. The armadillo has low reserves of fat and is not able to hibernate, two key necessities for an insectivore to survive in freezing temperatures. Currently, the armadillo is present predominantly in the southwestern and southern states.
The nine banded armadillo is not able to curl completely into a ball like its smaller cousin, the three banded armadillo. Instead, when frightened, the nine banded armadillo will leapt into the air in excess of three feet. This habit has made the animals particularly dangerous to motorists, especially since the nocturnal nature of the animals makes them active when visibility is low. While curling into a ball is the most recognizable defense, and one this particular species is incapable of, the ability to burrow aids this small creature in defense. When frightened, the armadillo will dig a hole and wedge itself within. A predator will eventually give up when the armor cannot be breached and the animal cannot be removed from the burrow. In their territories, nine banded armadillos create extensive burrow tracks with as many as twelve intersecting tunnels. Females and males are both solitary, though male territories will overlap as many as three female claims.
Interestingly enough, armadillos were often hunted during the Great Depression as an alternative meat source similar to pork.
Nine Banded Armadillo Diet: A delicate sense of smell is the most important tool for the nine banded armadillo, allowing the animal to detect food sources deep within the soil. Insects and invertebrates make up the majority of the armadillo’s diet, though they will eat carrion and small amphibians if need be. A sticky tongue helps the animal quickly collect any colonies of insects located in the dirt. Speaking of diet, do armadillos eat turtle eggs?
Nine Banded Armadillo Nuisance Concerns: Because most of the components of an armadillo’s diet live in the soil, this makes the creatures destructive when they cross into human yards. An armadillo can quickly tear apart large areas of topsoil and can create a burrow in less than a day. Burrows near or under buildings can compromise the integrity of the structure. Constant foraging will damage root systems of shrubs, bushes, and small trees and can ruin landscaping. Abandoned armadillo nests are also home to other wildlife such as skunk and snakes.
Nine Banded Armadillo Diseases: Armadillos are one of the only animals able to carry and spread the human disease known as Leprosy. This disease is usually transmitted by eating undercooked armadillo meat, though transmission through a scratch or bite is possible. Rabies is very uncommon in armadillos due to their naturally low body temperature, but infection is still possible. Salmonella, common bacteria that affect the gastrointestinal system, can be spread through armadillo feces.
This site is intended to provide armadillo education and information on how to get rid Of armadillos, so that you can make an informed decision if you need to deal with an armadillo problem. This site provides many armadillo control articles and strategies, if you wish to attempt to solve the problem yourself. If you are unable to do so, which is likely with many cases of armadillo removal, please go to the home page and click the USA map, where I have wildlife removal experts listed in over 500 cites and towns, who can properly help you with your nuisance armadillo.
Read more about armadillos in my educational articles – like my best advice on how to use One-way exclusion funnels to remove armadillos. Learn about the Armadillo diet, the diseases armadillos carry, and what you should do with an armadillo after you Catch it.
The only true way to get rid of armadillos is to trap them in cage traps and remove them from the area. There is no effective repellent or deterrent product that you can simply buy and spray or sprinkle on your property to make armadillos leave. Examples of bogus products include moth balls, coyote urine, and castor oil. Go ahead and buy these things if you must, but you’ll just waste your time. The only real way to get rid of an armadillo for good is to set a trap and capture it in the trap. The animal must then be relocated at least a few miles from the site of capture, or humanely euthanized, as laws dictate.
BEFORE: Here we see an armadillo digging in a lawn and tearing up everything.
AFTER: Here’s the armadillo, trapped in a cage, about to be relocated to a new area.
The only real effective way to get rid of armadillos is to trap and remove them. How is this done? The key is to use the right types of traps and to set them in the correct fashion. Armadillos dig in the dirt for their food, which consists primarily of earthworms and beetle larvae, or grubs. Thus, there is no bait that you can simply place into the trap that will encourage them to enter. One trapper in my area swears that cabbage works – give me a break, that has absolutely no scientific basis, and I experimented extensively with this bait, and found no statistical increase in catches over an unbaited trap. I’ve heard of tactics such as earthworms in a nylon stocking – that sounds cumbersome, and it’s unnecessary. All you have to do is set the trap in the right area – where the armadillo is going to walk – and do it the right way: flush to the ground, lined with dirt on the bottom, etc. A good professional trapper will know exactly where the animal travels, and will do it right. There are a million subtle things that go into this line of work, and I’ve seen dozens of cases in which homeowners tried to get rid of the armadillo themselves, only to fail because of lousy technique. If they had caught the animal, they would have not been legally allowed to do anything with it anyway. Your best bet, if you want to get rid of an armadillo, is to call a professional trapper, and get the job done right.
If you don’t live in Florida click my Nationwide Directory of Wildlife Professionals serving almost every town, in all 50 states.
For more armadillo trapping information, go back to the armadillo control page.
|PHOTOS: For great pictures of armadillo trapping and removal, click on my: Armadillo Photographs gallery.|
Here is a complete list of my other armadillo pages:
How to Get Rid of Armadillos
Armadillo Poison to Kill
How to Keep Away Armadillos
How to Catch an Armadillo
How to get rid of Armadillos? Armadillos are small mammals which can be a serious nuisance because of their excellent ability to dig. They usually destroy an entire lawn in just one night. They eat away the plants and vegetation and thus destroy them in the process. The burrows made by them not only pose a threat to vegetation but to the structure of the buildings as well. If you have troubles with armadillos destroying your yard and vegetation, there are some ways to rid yourself of the problem without destroying the animal.
Important Steps to Take
The best way to keep them away and protect your home and garden is to install fences around the area. However, do not install normal fences as they would not be effective in stopping Armadillos. As they care capable of digging burrows deep in the ground, you need to get and install specially designed fences available in the market that are meant to keep them away. They go deep into the ground and then protrude outwards. Thus, even if Armadillos dig deep down under the fence, chances are that it would still not be able to get inside your yard.
Also, try and remove all the insect and insect larvae present in the garden. If there is not enough food for them to feed upon, the chances of their coming over are less.
Some people believe that ammonia, moth balls and human or a predator’s urine acts as great repellent and drives armadillos away. Most of these people say to put them around different areas of the ground and into the openings of tunnels. and also, ensure to put these near the walls. Other claims include hot pepper spray also acts as effective repellent and drives them away. Another idea is that you can also brush your cat or dog to collect hair from fur. These can be placed in the yard for where the wind or breeze can scatter the hair around the area. The idea is that these are also useful in driving them away as armadillos tend to avoid areas where there are scents of predators in the area.
However, repellents really do not work all that well in getting rid of armadillos. They may work for a few days, if at all, and may deter them for a moment, but usually repellents are a waste of money that good be spent more effectively. In years of extensive testing and observing homeowners using repellents, I have found that they never ever work. Go ahead and test for yourself if you want.
Trapping the Armadillos
Trapping an Armadillo is really tricky. You can do it yourself but getting an expert involved would surely make the process a lot more quick and effective. First of all you need a good cage that is strong enough to hold the animal as well as large enough to hold an adult-sized Armadillo. As per experts, a cage of size 12” x 10” x 30” is good enough for the job. Also, it is better to set up more than one cage as this increases the chances of catching it.
An interesting and important thing to understand here is that you do not need to add bait in the cage. In the past, experts have tried a number of different options to find out the one that is best suited for job. However, none of the baits tried were able to lure the armadillo to the cage. In fact, adding bait in the cage resulted in other animals getting caught in the cage meant for Armadillos including opossums and raccoons.
Armadillos have really poor eyesight and they follow a fixed path for their movement. They use large stationary objects as reference points to navigate. Also, they prefer moving along edges, fences or walls. Thus, you need to carefully analyze the path they are taking and accordingly put the trap in their path.
A trap placed in the middle of the garden would rarely, if ever, work in catching an Armadillo. There have been cases when the traps were not able to catch them. Here, a professional of the field can be of great help and can complete the job really quickly before the animal damages your garden further.
Photo Credit: Su Neko
If you own a home in the northern United States or Canada, you probably have seen armadillos only in the zoo, in a book, or on your favorite wildlife program on TV. Residents of Texas, Florida, and southern states in between, however, know the armadillo only too well. In fact, they may have the squat, armor-plated little digger, and his friends and relatives, inhabiting the back yard, crawl space under a deck or garden area where grubs and insects, an armadillo’s top menu choice, can be found in abundance.
While these odd-looking critters aren’t going to threaten your kids, fight with the cat or dog, or infect you with a deadly disease (The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia says talk about armadillos and leprosy is unfounded), they can move right into your property, burrowing through beautiful lawns and feasting on vegetable gardens.
Also, when their populations become too large in number, armadillos are frequent roadkill, posing a hazard and sanitation nuisance on the highway. Short of too drastic solutions such as shooting or poisoning, which are illegal in many states anyway, what’s a conscientious homeowner to do to rid his property of these pests?
As it turns out, there are some sensible do-it-yourself options and also recourse to professional help in the way of experienced trappers. In addition, people who have lived with armadillos (without really wanting to) have developed ways to keep them off their property, or at least, to limit their number. So, if you are concerned about armadillos and what to do with them, it’s wise to know a little about the armadillo, its habits, and why it does what it does.
What Are Armadillos?
Armadillos are four-footed, armor-plated mammals, similar to the sloth and the ant eater. They are usually a brown, black or salmon color. The type of armadillo living in the southern United States is called the 9-banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcentus)–so named because of the 9 exterior plates girdling the animal’s mid-section. Despite these stiff plates of armor and their characteristic chubby shape, armadillos are surprisingly quick, agile and flexible. They are adept at swimming and walking underwater on stream beds.
The 9-banded Armadillo is not a big creature. It is comparable in size to a small dog or medium-sized cat. Typical height is 6 to 10 inches, and its length can be 2 to 3-1/2 feet. Weight can range from 6 to 14 pounds or so. By way of comparison, the South American armadillo is called the Giant Armadillo and for good reason, too, because it can weigh up to 60 to 70 pounds.
Armadillos are nocturnal animals, meaning they are awake at night and sleep during the day. They have very poor eyesight and hearing, but to make up for these deficits, they possess phenomenal senses of smell. Definitely not aggressive by nature, armadillos like to quietly go about their business of enjoying the fresh water, grubs, and insects that a nice back yard habitat can provide. (So, they actually do provide an element of pest control while they are being pests themselves.)
Equipped with strong legs and sharp claws, armadillos are perfectly designed for digging very elaborate systems of burrows, complete with entrance and exit holes. Many of these burrows can measure up to 15 feet in length. They can number as many as 30 in the home network or range that armadillos share in community with each other.
The armadillos are plenty clever enough to have the burrows organized into 4 distinct categories:
- main burrow
- sleeping quarters
- nursery ( A female will have one litter of 4 males OR 4 females annually.)
- exit or escape route
While the burrows are not enormously high, their presence is distressingly noticeable on a well-kept lawn, golf course green or carefully cultivated flower or vegetable garden. Usually, burrows are 7 to 8 inches in diameter, nicely accommodating the girth of the adult 9-banded Armadillo. In addition, their burrows are networked, and many armadillos will share a home base.
Armadillos are not territorial creatures. However, they can willingly roam from place to place depending on availability of food, water, and soil they can most readily excavate. So, if a homeowner has gotten one or more armadillos off his or her property, it would be smart to keep the anti-armadillo plan in place. Where some armadillos used to be, more of the animals are sure to follow.
These hard-working foragers also enjoy living under porches and shed foundations. The females like to use crawlspaces for birthing and rearing their young. A fisherman’s bucket of dirt and freshly caught night crawlers is exactly what an armadillo would love to find during a nighttime raid.
How to Prevent Armadillos from Settling on Your Property
To stop an infestation of armadillos or to keep these persistent animals from returning to your garden, grass, garage or porch, capitalize on the armadillo’s natural tendencies and physical characteristics. Here are some tried and true methods for keeping armadillos away:
- Build a fence around your property–at least in the areas you are trying to protect. The armadillo can wiggle through small spots and can expertly dig through most any kind of soil. For this reason, bury the fence at least a full foot under the dirt. This will dissuade the armadillo’s burrowing instinct. The top of the fence should be at a 45-degree angle to the ground. This is to prevent the animal from hopping the barrier.
- Use chicken wire to protect valued landscape plants. Circle shrubs and flowering plants with chicken wire at least 24 inches high and 12 to 18 inches underground. While armadillos are not looking to feast on these botanicals, their burrows will destroy important root systems and tip the plants right out of the soil.
- Install chicken wire along the house, utility shed and garage foundations, burying it in the same manner. Wooden lattice can work, too.
- Fill-in any existing holes in the ground. Some people suggest a mixture of soil and mothballs because armadillos hate the smell of this insect repellent.
- Use the armadillo’s incredible nose to your advantage by placing several areas of “stink” around your property. Experts suggest strong-smelling substances such as vinegar, ammonia, Pine-sol household cleaner, pine needles or pine cones, moth balls and, of all things, human hair.
How to Get Rid of Armadillos Yourself
If you find yourself to already be plagued with armadillos, have evidence of their burrows and have sited them during their times of nocturnal activity, don’t worry. Many do-it-yourselfers are able to successfully rid their homes, yards, and outbuildings of these underground creatures.
Check Local Laws
It is important to note, however, that the trapping of armadillos by amateurs is prohibited in the states of Texas and Florida. So, before undertaking your own plan, be sure to check with your town’s animal control officer to see what the law allows you to do in your area. As previously stated, armadillos are not aggressive animals. So don’t worry that, as you work through a plan of trapping that you will be in danger of life and limb. However, any animal, including armadillos, may act out if cornered.
First of all, as a prospective armadillo trapper, you should make a trip to your local feed store, or check online for a quality raccoon cage trap. These cages are usually constructed of strong, galvanized steel wire, with a trap door at one end. The trap door is spring-activated when the animal enters the apparatus and steps on the floor. Experts suggest setting the tension of the spring high. This is to prevent smaller, lighter animals, such as mice, from entering the cage and setting off the mechanism.
These cages are not overly large, measuring 30 inches long, 12 inches high and 10 inches wide. They fit nicely against the foundation of a house where armadillos typically dig their homes. Make sure the soil is level so that when an armadillo triggers the trap, the cage stays flat and does not tip over. Quality traps have smooth, rolled edges on the interior so that any animal, including raccoons and possums, do not snag their skin and fur on any sharp metal.
Havahart 1045 Live Animal Two-Door Raccoon, Stray Cat, Opossum, and…
- Constructed of sturdy rust-resistant wire mesh with steel reinforcements for long life and galvanized for maximum…
- Mesh openings are smaller than competing traps of comparable size to prevent escapes and stolen bait
- Two spring-loaded doors allow animals to enter from either direction. Material : One-Piece 12-Gauge Wire Mesh
Regarding luring armadillos into the cage, people use items that armadillos find tasty and appealing. These include cut-up fruit or earthworms in a thin canvas bag or knotted pantyhose. Trappers say that tapping into the animal’s natural instinct to work a bit for his dinner is helpful as well. So, try placing vittles in a short length of 2- to 3-inch PVC pipe. And wire it to the inside wall of the trap, up near the top.
Because armadillos do their work at night, set your traps at dusk, and check them in the morning. You will find your inhabitants basically unscathed. You can safely lift the traps from the area using the carry handle on the top of the cage. Immediately relocate the armadillos to a wooded area at least 5 miles from your home. Again, consult with your local animal control officer for suggestions on where to release the animals safely and legally.
Make sure they can’t come back
Once the armadillos are gone, be sure to backfill the entrances and exits from the burrows with well-compacted soil. Use some of the mentioned armadillo-preventatives to keep the little guys from coming back.
What About Professional Armadillo Trappers?
When prevention fails and one or more armadillos has infested your yard, it may be best, in the long run, to invest in a professional animal removal service. These wildlife experts are not simply exterminators. They are trained and licensed in the humane removal of all kinds of animals which are co-inhabiting with human beings. These animals can include mice, raccoons, rats, bats, opposums, bees, wasps, squirrels, chipmunks, birds, and reptiles of various kinds.
The advantages of using such a service are many, including:
- evaluation of the extent of the infestation (including crawlspaces, gardens, foundations)
- recognition of signs peculiar to armadillos. These include the construction and location of their burrows, droppings and what may be left over after the animal forages and eats
- specific plans on how to bait and trap the armadillos
- proper setting and baiting of traps in the correct locations and at the right time of day
- return to the home at the right time of day to inspect traps
- 24/7 availability for most days of the year
- relocation of the animals without harming them and according to the local rules and regulations of your town
- using accurate methods of blocking the burrows to stop infestation with new armadillos (fencing, insecticides, filling holes)
If you have determined to hire professional assistance, be sure to check the credentials of the company you are hiring. The company must have the correct licensing, liability insurance, and workers’ compensation as required by your state of residence. Find out what their educational background is and what professional associations related to wildlife the trappers may have.
In addition, understand the trappers’ price structure before you hire the company. Do they charge per trap or per animal trapped? Is the relocation fee included in the bottom line, or is it extra? As with any work done on your home, get an estimate of the charges in writing beforehand
Make an Armadillo Removal Plan, and Work It
While infestation with armadillos is a nuisance and destructive to the property you work so hard to maintain, don’t rush headlong into controlling these armor-plated foragers without first making a plan. Do some online research, and check to see what neighbors have done or are doing regarding their little invaders. Chances are that if you have problem armadillos, people in the neighborhood do, too.
Lastly, go for the humane solution–whether you remove the critters or leave it to the professionals. Armadillos are part of nature’s complex web of benefits to the environment and to man. Preventing infestation, trapping, and relocation of animals preserves your home and the part armadillos play in the natural world.
Armadillo problems are particularly unpleasant and they are something that you might want to take care of as soon as it is possible. This is going to prevent any future damage and it’s going to ensure that you don’t have to re-do your entire garden again. If you fail to handle the issue conveniently and on time, these pests are going to destroy your plants and are going to cause irreparable issues to your garden. This is the main reason for which you want to be particularly attentive and alert.
The first thing, however, that you would have to do is to properly identify the overall areas of damage. There are a few signs that you might want to keep an eye out for which could be indicative of an armadillo problem. If you manage to identify them on time, you will be capable of employing an effective armadillo repellent and chase them away before they’ve done more damage to your beloved garden. Keep in mind that if you fail to use the right armadillo deterrent product, this could lead to serious issues as they are capable of undermining the foundations of certain structures as well.
So, the things that you might want to take a look at and keep an eye out for include:
- Specific holes which are characteristic for those pests. They are likely to be between 3-5 inches in width and about 5-7 feet of depth.
- Uprooted plants and seeds – this is something that they love doing and it’s amongst the most serious armadillo problems you can come across.
- Armadillo burrows – these could be near the foundations of your home or other structures that you have in your yard.
Now that you have determined that you have an armadillo problem, it is particularly important to employ the right counter measures. With this in mind, the first thing that you need to do is to choose an effective armadillo repellent. This is where we step into the picture to provide you with a helping hand. Below you will find a few different types of particularly effective solutions to this problem, all of which have different purposes and end results. You should choose the one which is rather effective for your particular situation.
What You Should Know About Armadillos
Armadillos, specifically the nine banded armadillos, are pests that originated from South America and live in the warmer places of the States.
If you have an infestation of Armadillos, you will typically find a burrow where they live near your home or any other infrastructure in your garden. They typically live anywhere between 7 to 10 years and live on a diet of mostly insects.
However, in the cold, they do adapt to eat small lizards and amphibians if necessary.
The Armadillos’ breeding season usually begins in the early months of summer and will last about 2-3 months. Every time Armadillos have offspring, they will have quadruplets.
Armadillos can be distinguished by their armor-like, rounded back and their strong front claws which they use for digging. They have a protective armor on their backs which they can curl up into if they feel threatened, turning into a protected ball as a result.
They are fairly small animals and can move quite quickly as well as know how to swim.
The main damage that you experience from Armadillos is the damages they create in your gardens and soil while they scavenge for food.
They tend to uproot small plants and seeds and make characteristic holes and tunnels for them to live in.
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Why You Should Keep Them Away
Armadillos can cause serious destruction to your gardens and yard during their search for food. They create many burrows and tunnels which will not only make the ground of your garden unstable, but also create a mess.
Other than causing a hassle and destroying your garden, Armadillos carry other dangers as well. They are known to carry several diseases that can endanger yourself and your loved ones.
One disease commonly found in Armadillos is Salmonella.
The worst part about this is that you contract it not by touching the animal itself, but instead by (accidentally) touching the animal’s feces. Some symptoms that you might experience due to contracting Salmonella include fevers, diarrhea, abdominal pain and chills.
There are two other diseases that you can get from either being bitten or scratched by an Armadillo; these include Rabies and Leprosy. Many individuals get hurt by a wild Armadillo when trying to trap it in their yard, or while trying to release it.
This is because the animal feels afraid and is prone to attacking. In any case, if you’ve been attacked or have come in direct contact with an Armadillo, it is highly advised that you receive medical attention immediately.
Liquid Fence Ready-to-Use Armadillo Repellent
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10 Best Repellents to Keep Armadillos Away
1. Liquid Fence Ready-to-Use Armadillo Repellent
This is a great option if you want to repel armadillos which are already infesting your backyard. With this in mind, it is also worth noting that it comes in a form which is ready to use and you can start applying it right away.
Best for: repelling armadillos which are already in your backyard by contaminating their food source and natural habitat.
Watch out for: do not overdo it. Using too much might actually cause certain issues.
- It takes advantage of a non-clogging formula and it doesn’t gel, which means that you can apply it directly to your garden hose and be done with it.
- It’s not going to harm your vegetation which is also important.
- It will stop the digging in your garden area, flower beds and in your lawn.
2. Yard Guard Organic Armadillo Repellent
This is another particularly effective solution if you want to keep armadillos away from your home or to chase them away if they are already inside. With this in mind, one of the strongest advantages for you to take advantage of is the fact that it’s organic. Hence, there is no need to worry about its impact on pets and kids.
Best for: it’s perfect for chasing that pest away if it is already in your garden.
Watch out for: there is nothing that you need to be very careful about as the entire thing is entirely natural.
- Comes with a long-lasting formula
- Comes with special deterrents which are going to keep the armadillos away for months to come
- Completely safe for other animals and kids
3. Hoont Powerful Solar Battery Powered Ultrasonic Repellent
Now, this is something which is particularly awesome and you should definitely consider it, especially if you are into high-tech stuff and want to keep the population of armadillos at bay.
Not only is this method going to chase them away, it’s also going to deter them from coming even close to your garden. It produces ultrasonic sounds which are especially harmful to armadillos and that’s why they won’t even come near it.
Best for: keeping armadillos away.
Watch out for: ultrasonic sound might annoy you, even subconsciously.
- Highly effective
- Easy to install
- No need for spraying or anything else of the kind
4. Armadillo Scram Granular Repellent
This is something which is very similar to the 2nd product, only that it doesn’t depict the same natural properties. However, it does a stellar job when it comes to handling the armadillos and it’s going to chase them away pretty quickly.
Best for: getting rid of currently inhabiting animals.
Watch out for: potential chemical substances.
- Quick effects
- Long-lasting results.
5. Castor Oil Repellent
You can buy this from a specialized venue or you can go ahead and create it on your own. Using a concentrated castor oil mix and diluting it with water is all that you need. It’s safe for plants and vegetation and it won’t harm your animals.
Best for: quickly chasing armadillos away.
Watch out for: potential allergies to castor oil.
- It’s cheap and quick
- You can do it on your own
6. Solar Ultrasonic Animal Repeller with LED Flashing Light
This Skyline Tek electronic animal repeller runs on rechargeable batteries, which are powered through a solar panel that is attached to the repellent. It is motion activated as well, so any movement within a 110-degree arc and 26.24 feet will activate the repellent.
It can be placed by either pushing it into the ground or by hanging it on the wall. It is ideal to use in areas such as patios, gardens farms and ponds.
How it works: whenever the repellent is activated, it will scare away the animal through the use of ultrasonic sounds, ranging from 13,5000 to 40,000 Hz for 30 seconds as well as flashing lights.
This way, your garden will remain safe from any chemicals and pesticides while keeping any unwanted intruders out.
Other than scaring away Armadillos, this repeller is also effective in removing rats, badgers, skunks, cats, racoons, squirrels, bats and other small, unwanted animals.
7. Enviro Protection Armadillo Repellent
This enviro commercial repellent comes in a 6-pound bag and is ready to be applied on any area. This amount can be used for up to 3,600 square feet, about a pound for every 600 feet. This repellent is ideal for garden areas, concealed areas and fence lines.
Made with a blend of natural and organic ingredients, this repellent was formed to lessen and eradicate any Armadillo activity within the premises.
8. Natural Armor Repellent Spray
This Natural Armor commercial repellent comes in the form of a spray, which you can use both indoor and outdoors and is very easy to use. The whole bottle can cover 500 square feet and is waterproof for up to 90 days.
This repellent is made from all-natural ingredients, so you can use it freely around children, pets as well as on your plants without harming them. You need not worry about any unpleasant smells too. In fact, it comes in 4 different scents: Rosemary, Mint, Peppermint and Thyme.
How to use: This Natural Armor repellent comes in a spray bottle, so you simply spray it wherever you like without it leaving any residue or clogging effects.
9. Bonide Animal Repellent
This Bonide commercial repellent acts as a nasal passage, skin and taste irritator to pests that are in the area. With its unique blend of solutions, it triggers the animal’s natural instinct to flee the area.
This blend can stay for up to 2 months and has significantly positive reviews related to handling Armadillo issues.
How it works: spray the solution around areas where you have found Armadillos as well as their burrows and around outside structures.
10. Rapid Repel Natural Nuisance Animal Repellent
This all-natural and plant-based repellent from Rapid Repel is safe for your gardens and landscape, while effectively steering Armadillos and other animals away. The repellent comes in a ready-to-use liquid formula and is used along with either a one or two-gallon garden sprayer.
Its main ingredient is pepper, which attacks the senses of the Armadillo. As a result, spraying it along the perimeter of areas that you do not want them in will be extremely effective.
Other Different Methods of Repelling Armadillos
Although having Armadillos in your yard can be a nuisance, it’s good to know that there are a number of alternatives to repel them, such as:
Electronic Repellents Electronic repellents are one of the most modern technologies to help you reduce the presence of Armadillos and other pests in your yard,
Most electronic repellents are motion-activated and they automatically spray water from the attached sprinkler whenever it is triggered. This creates a safe way to ward off the pests while keeping your garden safe from any chemicals.
A benefit of using this type of repellent is that it protects your garden at all times. However, it can be more costly to purchase and install when compared to other types of repellents.
It is also sometimes a nuisance when the system goes faulty or is overly sensitive and sprays unnecessarily.
Commercial Repellents This type of repellent is the most widely used, as it is considerably easy to use and find. Most commercial repellents are available in a liquid solution or in a water-activated granular form, which you will scatter in and around your garden.
How this type of repellent works is that it dissolves into the ground, plants and insects that live in your garden and coats everything in the solution. This solution is highly unpleasant in taste for scavenging Armadillos.
As a result, it will deter them from inhabiting your garden since their food options are distasteful. A benefit of using commercial repellents is that it does not require much effort to install. Also, you would only need to reapply the repellent about every 4 to 6 weeks.
This type of repellent is also good at ground penetration effectiveness, so burying Armadillos will be affected as well.
The only downside of commercial repellents would be the cost in comparison to some homemade repellent options. There’s also the possibility of the substances upsetting the plants in your garden, though this does depend on each individual repellent.
Homemade Repellents A simple homemade repellent that is effective in getting rid of Armadillos is a cayenne pepper solution. All you will need is a standard bottle of cayenne pepper, which will make about 16 fluid ounces of homemade repellent when mixed with water.
The cayenne pepper will not sit well with Armadillos’ senses. Simply pour the solution around your garden as well as when you have found an Armadillo. A downside to using homemade repellents is that it will need to be reapplied often, as rain will wash it away.
It is also not as effective as commercial repellents when it comes to ground penetration effectiveness. However, it only costs a few dollars for a bottle, which is much cheaper than commercial repellents or electronic repellents.
Traps Before considering this option, it is essential that you find out what the regulations are for trapping wild animals. This is because there may be some procedures you will need to follow before trapping Armadillos.
If you’re more interested in an immediate solution, trapping Armadillos can be another choice, though it isn’t a long-term one. When using traps, make sure that you have one that has a ’release’ from the outside so that you will not come in contact with the animal.
It’s also important to keep in mind that Armadillos are medium-sized mammals, so you will need a trap that has the correct size. Once you have trapped the animal, you will also need to release it at least 2 miles away from your property to ensure that it does not end up wandering back.
Once released, you can keep the trap for future use if necessary.
Professional Removal This simply means getting professionals to trap the Armadillo(s) and letting them decide what they would like to do with the trapped animal. This would either mean releasing it somewhere else or euthanizing it.
Having a professional remove your problem can be more expensive, especially with severe issues and may be considerably less humane. However, it can be safer in solving the pest problem.
Armadillo Prevention There are several options that you can choose from – or you can even implement them all – to keep Armadillos away. Armadillos are difficult pests to get rid of, so taking preventive measures is a good idea.
Some people who have had issues with Armadillos might tell you that you will need more than just one preventive measurement to keep the animals out.
For example, a fence might make them rethink their decision of reentering. However, there have been cases of Armadillos still digging under fences, which have been embedded deep.
Because of this, it is highly recommended that you take more than one preventive measure from the list to ensure that you will not have an Armadillo problem.
Fences Armadillos either scurry along the ground or dig through the soil just beneath the surface when scavenging for food. They are nocturnal, so building a fence around your property will save you some hours of sleep and worry.
You will need to place fences surrounding the whole area and it will need to be embedded into the ground at least by 1-foot deep. If your fence is only placed on top of the soil, they will easily dig through the soil underneath and get in.
It is also a good idea to get pine mulch and spread it along the perimeter, as the smell wards off these animals and keeps them away from the fence as well.
Reduce Food Sources Having very moisturized soil will lead to an abundance of earthworms and insects in your garden. This will attract roaming Armadillos to take refuge in your yard due to the abundance of food available.
Hence, keeping your yard relatively dry will reduce the chances of having an Armadillo problem. You should also keep an eye out for any garbage or compost in your yard, which, if unattended, can attract other insects.
You can also consider pesticide as another alternative to reduce the number of insects in your yard. Keep in mind that some pesticides can be harmful to not only the insects and the Armadillos, but also humans and pets.
Scare Them Armadillos are typically shy creatures and will scurry away if they feel unsafe. Having a guard dog is a possible prevention option to keep Armadillos from coming into your yard. Although this method may not always be effective.
Mothballs You can also consider putting mothballs in your garden to deter Armadillos, which are known to be sensitive to the smell. You can also repel other possible pests such as snakes or squirrels with the use of mothballs.
However, you must keep in mind that they can be hazardous for children and pets, as they contain chemical repellents and are flammable. That is why you will need to secure them if necessary.
As you can see, there are quite a lot of different things that you might want to take into account if you want to conveniently handle the issue with armadillos. This is something which is going to help you keep the entire population at bay and it will also allow you to repel them very quickly.
In any case, this is something that you should take into consideration as failing to do so could potentially expose your garden to destructive burrowing as armadillos are definitely capable of doing a lot of damage.
Armadillo Repellent: 10 Best Selling Repellents to Get Rid of Armadillos in Your Property
Armadillo problems are particularly unpleasant and they are something that you might want to take care of as soon as it is possible. This is going to preve
How To Stop Armadillo Digging
03.04.2004 – This is a photo of a Nine-Banded Armadillo digging a fresh burrow. I came across this animal while on an armadillo trapping project. Dillos usually dig several burrows within their home range. I’m not sure how many, but the number may be from 10-20. They usually have a primary burrow or two in which they sleep – and armadillos sleep about 20 hours per day. These big burrows are straight and deep, and may have a chamber at the end.
However, most of the burrows that armadillos dig are merely short-term escape tunnels, in case they need to bolt from danger. In fact, sometimes armadillos will start digging as a defense mechanism – they can’t necessarily run away quickly for a long time, so they’ll expose their tough behind and dig their way to safety.
That’s what the armadillo in the above photo was doing – it was trying to escape me. It didn’t of course, but it made a good show of it. Armadillos are very strong, and they can dig quickly with their sharp claws. They can also hold on tight, so you can’t really just grab them by the tail and pull them out. If you want to get an armadillo out of its burrow, you’ve got to dig it out!
As for how to stop armadillos from digging in the first place, you really can’t. If they want to dig, they’ll dig. The only thing that will stop them is a physical barrier. So for example, if they have an established digging area, I can install a steel mesh a few inches under the ground, so that when they start to dig, they’ll hit the mesh and are unable to go any further. But there’s no chemical or natural armadillo deterrent or repellent that will keep them from digging.
HOW TO KEEP ARMADILLOS OUT OF YOUR YARD
It is very hard to prevent armadillos from using a particular area. There is no magic repellent or sound machine that will keep them at bay. They don’t even seem to care about big scary dogs. The best armadillo prevention technique is actually strudy fencing, which goes down at least a foot into the ground, around the perimeter of the property. They’ll easily dig under fencing that merely touches the ground. If you need help, we service the entire USA! !
Dillos dig with the intention of looking for insects to eat or creating a place to hide in case predators or humans come around. They are therefore considered destructive animals. Constant digging of holes in people’s yards inconveniences many people and they come to consider Armadillos as a nuisance. Therefore, people look for ways to keep Armadillos away from their yards. This article will show you some of the ways to get rid or keep an Armadillo away from your yard in case you are experiencing this problem. The following are some of the methods you can use to keep Armadillos out of your yard:
- Buy a fence
- Establish small exits at the burrows
- Make your yard inhospitable for the Armadillo
- Remove organisms in your soil that attract the Armadillo
- Use of Mothballs
- Trapping the Armadillos
Buy a durable and strong fence.
The fence does not have to be tall because Armadillos do not jump high from the ground. A short strong fence that goes deep into the ground in recommended. The armadillo will not be able to dig a hole through the fence through the ground. This is why the fence has to go deep into the ground.
Make small gates or openings on top of the burrows.
Make sure the gate is made out of metal and the animals must be allowed to see the outside. The fencing has to be bigger than the whole so that when the Armadillo comes out of the hole, the door goes back or falls back to trap it. You can then remove the trapped Armadillo and take it to a preferred place or kill it.
Make your yard inhospitable.
To keep Armadillos out of your yard, make your yard non-conducive as possible. This is done by using wood chips that keep armadillos away from flower beds. It is difficult for an Armadillo to dig through a hard wood chip.
Get rid of small organisms that Armadillos feed on in your soil.
By doing this, Armadillos will not be interested in the soil in your yard since it has nothing sumptuous to offers.
Use of Mothballs Doesn’t Work.
Because mothballs have strong and displeasing odour, dropping them inside the holes Armadillos hide in may drag them out, or so the theory goes, but this doesn’t work.
Special traps can be bought which are placed strategically on a yard with Armadillo invasion. The Armadillos can get trapped and killed depending on how lethal the trap is.
If you have an armadillo issue already you can keep them out of your yard with little or more strategic effort, but in a situation where the effort prove to be ineffective you can hire a professional to do that for you. It is important to know that almost all people don’t like to see armadillos in their yard; they can be problematic as pest, and many find their looks odd and scary. However, that does not mean they are not good as home pets but in a situation where armadillos start to exhibit strange behaviors by digging burrows in the house and scattering the soil of your yard, then they are nothing good than getting rid of them. If you want to keep this animal away from your yard, follow the tips below and see how you can best achieve that.
Use cayenne pepper
Sprinkling Cayenne pepper around your home is one of the most effective methods to keep armadillos out of your yard. As soon as the animal sniffs the pepper up to its nose, it will find its way out of your yard with immediate effect without hesitation. You can get the cayenne pepper at local stores or supermarkets.
Use armadillo’s predators’ urine
Like every other animal, armadillo also has predators that treatments its survival on earth. Getting the urine of its predators will make this animal pick race out of your yard and will never wish to return. Put the urine in several smaller containers and place them at strategic locations around your home, when the animal perceives the smell it will quickly find its way out of the yard.
Set live traps with baits
Setting trap will not only help keep armadillos away from your yard but also give you the opportunity to catch them and do what you want to do with them. You are to get a strong trap(s) and place it where you think the animal use to pass, bait the trap with bunch of insects or earthworms; the armadillos will not hesitate to go for these food items immediately they sense it. The more they are able to touch the trap; death will be their destiny for that moment.
Keep outdoor dogs around your yard
Keeping outdoor dog in your home will chase the armadillo and prevent its freedom to having access to you yard. generally, armadillos don’t like the body smell of a dog; if they sense the smell couple with the dog barking, they will find their way out of your yard as fast as they can. In conclusion, it is important to know that some species of armadillos can be very stubborn a times, and they don’t give a damn of your little effort to chase them away; when all efforts seems to go in vain, you can contact a professional to help you out.
How to keep Armadillos out of your yard – Armadillos are wild animals found in Central regions of South America and in the central regions of the United States of America. They usually feed on insects primarily and sometimes on selected fruits of their preference. In recent times, Armadillos occasionally invade people’s yards and destroy flowers and other kinds of vegetation by digging holes and uprooting plants. Go back to the main Armadillo Removal page for more information about armadillo prevention.
How to Get Rid Of Armadillos
- Prevention It’s best to prevent armadillos from entering your yard. This can be achieved by installing a fence at least 18 inches (46 centimeters) into the ground. This will make it harder for armadillos to burrow under it. The top portion of the fence should be at a 45 degree angle, to prevent armadillos from jumping over it .
- Deterrents If you already have an armadillo problem, you may want to try a deterrent to encourage the armadillo to leave on its own. The best deterrent is to make your yard smell. Armadillos hate the smell of ammonia, vinegar and mothballs . Using any of these items regularly will ward off armadillos.
- Trapping For effective trapping, place more than one trap in various locations, especially near the armadillos’ burrows. Although some people believe in baiting the traps with some ripe fruit and earthworms, others believe all you need is a good, strong trap. (If the trap isn’t strong enough the armadillo might be able to break out of it.) Once they’re trapped, release the armadillos in a remote place .
How do you know if you have an Armadillo under your shed?
ANSWER: If you live in the south and see a large burrow with a lot of soil/sand dug out, there’s a good chance it’s a dillo!
Armadillos are classified as pests because of the damages they cause when they get into your property. So how will you know if you have an armadillo under your porch or shed?
Ideally, armadillos have the habit of digging and burrowing, therefore if you come across large tunnels next to the shed or under the shed then chances are that there is an armadillo invasion. When you come across small holes dug in different areas in the yard then, you are likely to run into an armadillo. They will also burrow in cracking concrete under the porch in most cases.
Armadillos are nocturnal animals therefore they will always emerge during the night to burrow; under the porch, they make extensive burrows that can damage the original foundation of the structure.
Why do they burrow under the shed or porch? Armadillos usually burrow because of several reasons:
- They usually burrow so that they can escape from being predated
- They also burrow so that they can find a secure place to raise their young ones
- During winter, they will burrow in these places in order to find warm place especially during the cold winter nights.
An armadillo also digs several burrows under these structures so that it can have a safe haven during its foraging period.
At times, it may be difficult to determine whether armadillos are under the shed or porch but signs of feeding can direct you to the actual location of the armadillos.
Armadillos usually feed on insects and in most cases they have to dig them up; therefore if you notice holes that are shallow around the yard, shed or porch then the probability of running into an armadillo is very high.
Carrying out a thorough inspection also helps to identify the presence of an armadillo in your property. At times, it may be challenging to identify the burrows because they are usually well hidden. There are certain instances where you will hear noises under your porch; it is advisable to check it out because an armadillo may be setting up its own home within your space.
Armadillos under your shed or porch may cause a lot of damage because they usually tamper with the landscape when they dig and burrow their own channels. Apart from distracting your foundation, they usually make screaming and squealing noises that usually irritate especially during the night. When they rub their armors against the structures, there will be production of noises that are equally disruptive.
It is therefore to ensure that you take the correct measures that will drive them away within the shortest time possible.
Go back to the How to Get Rid of Armadillos home page. You can also read my articles on: how to kill an armadillo, how to trap an armadillo, armadillo poison, can armadillos transmit leprosy.
Stop Armadillos In The Garden – Getting Rid Of Armadillos
Getting rid of armadillos is no longer a problem reserved for Texans. They were first seen in the Lone Star State in the 1850s and over the next hundred years, they’d waddled their way to Alabama and beyond. Armadillo control has become a concern throughout the southwest and beyond. Eventually, they’ll be found in any state where winters are mild. They’re known for tearing up flower beds in search of bugs and worms and leaving 3×5-inch divots in the lawn where they’ve dug up the turf looking for grubs. Before you ask about how to get rid of armadillos, you need to know a little about them.
The nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcintus) is nocturnal, which means it does most of its foraging at night. Its strong legs and claws are built for tearing apart termite mounds and digging burrows that can reach 15 feet long. They eat bugs and grubs and worms, but the claim that they carry and spread leprosy is largely unprovable and unfounded. One of the reasons getting rid of armadillos is so difficult is that they aren’t territorial. The one that’s in your yard today may not be the one that did all that damage last week.
How to Stop Armadillos in the Garden
Unfortunately, the best method to stop armadillos from entering your yard is not only the most expensive, but might also be the least attractive. A stout fence with no spaces big enough for the critters to crawl through and buried a foot or more underground so they can’t dig under it, is the best form of armadillo control.
But if you’re not agreeable to living inside a fenced fortress, using their own biology against them might be a more practical and effective method of getting rid of armadillos.
Armadillos have a great sense of smell and a large part of their brain is dedicated to it, so the answer to how to get rid of armadillos is fairly simple. Make your yard stink! Yes, strong scented, eye-stinging scents like those of vinegar or ammonia or good old pine cleaner can stop armadillos in their tracks, driving them from their borrows and your yard. Rumor has it, these roly-poly creatures are offended by the smell of pine needles or pine bark. You might try switching to one of these as mulch for your garden beds.
There is no repellent currently registered for armadillo control although there are several ultrasonic pest devices that claim to do much the same thing.
Trapping and Killing Armadillos
If easier, less confrontational methods fail, you might want to try trapping your midnight visitors. There are several devices available that are designed to capture without killing. Armadillos are partial to over ripe fruit and earthworms as bait. Try setting out a dish of bait for several nights before loading the trap to capture their interest first.
Killing armadillos may be your last and only solution to ridding your yard of this nocturnal pest. These animals are so focused on their search for food they notice little else, including flashlights and people! If you choose this method of getting rid of armadillos, make sure you check local ordinances governing the use of firearms and weapons.
As you can see, there are a variety of methods to stop armadillos from destroying your yard. Test them all and see which works best for you.
Armadillo Holes: Inside the Burrow
The nine-banded armadillo is the only species currently found in the United States. The primary geographic range of this species includes the southeastern United States, but their range is still expanding and it is possible that this species may reach as far north as Massachusetts. The armadillo is a mammal and has a characteristic leathery outer shell.
They’re round-shaped, banded, shelled and, most importantly, they’re trouble. Armadillos are notorious for digging up yards, potentially damaging foundations and destroying plant beds in search of food. Since so much of their time is spent beneath the ground, we only get a glimpse of their daily habits. So what really goes on in their burrows? Here are some facts about armadillo burrows.
Burrows serve many purposes for armadillos including: providing safety from predators and harsh weather, as well as space to raise their young. For both adults and young armadillos, burrows provide protection from predators such as mountain lions, bears and alligators. Burrows may also shield armadillos from extreme weather like summer heat and winter cold. During the summer, armadillos spend 29% of their day underground and only emerge at night. On the other hand, they spend 65% of their time in burrows during the winter and emerge during the warmest part of the day. Typically, young armadillos remain in the burrow for two to three weeks before emerging to establish their own burrow and territory.
Not all armadillos dig their own burrows. Some armadillos construct above-ground shelters using dried grass. Others may use the abandoned burrows of other wildlife. Since armadillos feed on roots, burrows are often created near these food sources. Texas A&M researchers found that the root systems of youpon bushes are preferred areas to build burrows in some areas of Texas. That said, in Texas, armadillos may also build burrows under shrubs like haws, oaks and Osage orange plants. In Georgia, researchers found most armadillos digging burrows under saw palmetto plants. When building burrows, armadillos first use their nose and forefeet to pull back soil until submerged underground. Burrows can extend anywhere from 4 to 24 feet wide and 5 feet deep. As such, armadillo digging can potentially cause structural damage if near foundations and/or driveways.
Since burrows can be extensive, it is important for armadillos to find a suitable soil texture to facilitate digging. Soil texture plays a large role in determining the number of burrows an armadillo can make. Historically, sandy or clay soils have proven to be the easiest and sturdiest materials for burrows. Areas like forests, woodlands and prairies may be ideal habitats for armadillos within their geographic range. Armadillos may also dig in areas like golf courses, parks and outdoor nurseries.
Each armadillo may construct five to ten burrows used in different areas of their territory. In fact, the University of Georgia states that the average number of burrows per armadillo is approximately 11. While one burrow acts as their main territory, the others are used for feeding and/or nesting young. Burrows connect through underground tunnels, usually leaving only one entrance. Take a look at the armadillo burrow diagram below to get a better picture of what it looks like below the surface.
Burrows can be hazardous for humans and livestock, due to the ground instability caused by the burrows below the surface. Luckily, wildlife professionals can help remove armadillos and burrows can be properly sealed and filled in. You may spot openings of burrows near porches, sheds and shrubs or you may notice cracks in your driveway related to burrows. If you spot signs of these pests, schedule an appointment with a Terminix® technician.
With a leathery shell and front leg claws made for digging, armadillos burrow to find food and to make underground shelters. The armadillo in the video above, identified as a six-banded or yellow armadillo by YouTuber Fauna and Flora, digs U-shaped burrows with a single opening. “Unlike the moles, that throw the soil to a side while digging,” explains Wikipedia, “the six-banded armadillo digs with its forefeet and throws the soil behind with its hindfeet.” Read on…
Armadillos are small to medium-sized mammals. The smallest species, the pink fairy armadillo, is roughly chipmunk-sized at 85 g (3.0 oz) and 13–15 cm (5.1–5.9 in) in total length. The largest species, the giant armadillo, can be the size of a small pig and weigh up to 54 kg (119 lb), and can be 150 cm (59 in) long. They are prolific diggers. Many species use their sharp claws to dig for food, such as grubs, and to dig dens. The nine-banded armadillo prefers to build burrows in moist soil near the creeks, streams, and arroyos around which it lives and feeds. The diets of different armadillo species vary, but consist mainly of insects, grubs, and other invertebrates. Some species, however, feed almost entirely on ants and termites.
Armadillo means “little armored one” in Spanish.
Next, one of our favorite videos: A Baby Nine-Banded Armadillo found in a yard in Texas. Plus: Rollie, a southern three-banded armadillo, playing. Save This